Cathy ten Broeke and Margaret Miles, leaders in efforts to fight homelessness, will be the first couple married by Mayor R.T. Rybak at City Hall on Aug. 1.
Rybak introduced them along with Al Giraud and Jeff Isaacson, the second same-sex couple to be married at City Hall, at a news conference earlier today. Rybak will officiate the weddings shortly after midnight and will then conduct approximately 40 other weddings between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.
"This is deeply personal. It means more than just a ceremony," Rybak said. "This is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever gotten to do. I’ve known so many people who have had their rights jeopardized by this, including two chiefs of staff and my communications director who have all worked right next to me in committed relationships like I am, but they don’t have as many rights as I do. … There are so many times when I see how logical and how incredibly important this is."
Miles and ten Broeke met while working at St. Stephen’s Human Services. In 2001, they had a commitment ceremony. The couple has a 5-year-old son, Louie. Miles is the director of development and communications for St. Stephen’s Human Services and ten Broeke is the state’s Director to Prevent and End Homelessness.
“We have been 100 percent committed as a family for 12 years,” the couple said in a statement. “The legal recognition of our commitment by our beloved Minnesota means that our family will have the legal support and protection that every family wants. We are deeply grateful that our son’s generation will grow up knowing not only that they are held in the arms of a loving community, but are also embraced by the protections and privileges that this legal recognition gives.”
The Southwest Journal featured Miles and ten Broeke in a story called “Kissing and Wishing” in 2004 about the LGBT community’s push for marriage equality. At the time, same-sex couples like Miles and ten Broeke were facing an uphill battle to get support from government officials to challenge the legal ban on same-sex marriage.
Giraud and Isaacson were the first couple in line to get a marriage license at the Hennepin County Government Center on June 6. They met in 2002 at a Tampa Bay Bucaneers football game and have been together ever since. They had a commitment ceremony in Tampa in 2005 and moved to Minneapolis in 2008.
“We, our friends and our family have seen us as married since our commitment ceremony eight years ago, but being legally married in our hometown of Minneapolis not only will give us the same rights as any other citizen, but will affirm our relationship in the eyes of our city and community,” the couple said. “We had considered traveling to Iowa to get married, but we had faith that Minnesota would welcome us before long. We couldn't be happier that the day is now so near.”
The Hotel Minneapolis plans to host a late-night reception for couples free of charge and is offering discounts on room rates for couples who tie the knot at City Hall. Musicians Jeremy Messersmith, the Cooper Street Brass Quintet and the Gay Men’s Chorus will be performing at City Hall during the weddings. There will be wedding cakes, too, provided by the Better Crocker division of General Mills.
Meet Minneapolis has recently launched a web page to help same-sex couples navigate the wedding planning process.